Fruit prices in the Ecuadorian market have reportedly seen sharp rises over the last week as a result of the country’s
recently imposed import tariff hikes.
Website Lahora.com.ec reported apples, table grapes, oranges, guavas and peaches had all been particularly affected, with the price of a box of 150 apples having risen from US$20 at the start of the year to US$30 now.
The price rises are said to be hitting fruit sellers in wholesale markets hard as sales have been limited.
“Normally, people prefer to eat Chilean apples, pears and grapes because they’re more juicy and have a better texture, and if they stop shipping them we don’t know if the apples from here will be able to meet the supply,” apple seller Patricio Urtea was quoted as saying.
Chilean apples are said to be one of the most popular fruits in the country, not just in wholesale markets but supermarkets as well.
“Lots of people have come to ask if we still have Chilean apples and if they’re still of good quality,” Urtea was quoted as saying.
“We are really worried that imports from other countries might stop, because then we would have to look for other distributors that might not even exist in this country.”
A wholesale market shopper, Miriam Tapia, reportedly said she didn’t know if the sellers were exaggerating their prices
prematurely, but claimed that she could before buy more apples and pears for a lower price.